Courtesy of North Carolina Central University
CLEVELAND – North Carolina Central University men’s basketball head coach LeVelle Moton has joined more than 35 collegiate coaches in support of the McLendon Minority Leadership Initiative (or “MLI”), a partnership with the John McLendon Minority Scholarship Foundation.
This coach-driven initiative will provide minorities a jump-start to their careers through practical experiences, opportunities to build their network, and instilling the values of John McLendon: Integrity, Education, Leadership, and Mentorship. Participants in the initiative will be known as MLI Future Leaders.
Coach Moton on the Initiative
“I simply see myself as a caretaker of an NCCU basketball program pioneered by John McLendon. He was a trailblazer for so many coaches and leaders across the country,” said Moton. “As an NCCU Eagle, it’s not only my moral obligation but my social responsibility to continue the legacy of Coach McLendon. I’m excited to join a program that will touch and enhance lives, and provide life-changing opportunities for minorities.”
McLendon served as the Eagles’ men’s basketball head coach for 12 seasons from 1940-52, winning a school-record 77.9 percent of his games.
University of Kentucky men’s basketball head coach John Calipari and Harvard University men’s basketball head coach Tommy Amaker are the two co-chairs of the initiative.
“The MLI is about access and opportunity: real-world experience and networking platforms designed to elevate talented young women and men of color who have previously been ignored by a system that lacks diversity and inclusion,” said Calipari. “For this work, I couldn’t think of a more appropriate vehicle than the McLendon Foundation. I’m excited about where we’re headed and feel this is a great first step toward affecting measurable change in our corner of the world.”
Honor to serve
“It is a true honor to serve as an ambassador for the McLendon Minority Leadership Initiative under the umbrella of the John McLendon Foundation,” said Amaker. “Coach McLendon’s name is synonymous with education, teaching, service, excellence, and leadership. I am incredibly proud to be associated with his name through this initiative. I cannot think of a better way to honor Coach McLendon’s legacy than by providing young minority women and men with a pathway into athletics administration. Through this program, we will make significant progress in increasing diversity in athletics departments throughout the country and will support many more people of color in pursuing their passion.”
“The McLendon Minority Leadership Initiative is a huge step in the right direction for enhancing the pipeline within our industry,” said Andrea Williams, Chief Operating Officer at the College Football Playoff (CFP) and McLendon Foundation President. “There are many qualified minority individuals who are prepared to make their mark and begin their careers in college athletics, and this program, jumpstarted by Coach Calipari, is a great foundation to build on.”
Pipeline for minorities
The McLendon Foundation, along with G3 Marketing and ProLink Staffing Services, will be assisting in the solicitation of collegiate coaches, administrators, and corporations to build this program and provide opportunities within athletics departments at all levels, with the ultimate goal of expanding and enhancing the pipeline for minorities interested in pursuing careers in athletics administration. As an added benefit, the Joel Cornette Foundation will assist the Future Leaders with corporate mentorship, development, and job placement.
More information regarding the MLI, including a pre-application for interested and qualified individuals, can be found at MinorityLeaders.org.
In conjunction with this announcement, the McLendon Foundation is unveiling a newly designed website to showcase the efforts of the Foundation, highlighted by its mission to empower and develop minorities who aspire to be principled leaders in athletics administration by providing educational resources and access to a life-long community of mentors.
About The McLendon Minority Leadership Initative
The John McLendon Minority Scholarship Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded and administered by NACDA that provides educational opportunities and serves as a vehicle for networking, information and advocacy on behalf of the profession. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded 123 students with scholarships in the amount of $1,245,000.